President Obama responded to the news that the economy added 242,000 new jobs and that unemployment was below 5% for the second straight month by dropping a reality bomb on the Republican Party.
The President said:
In other words, the numbers, the facts don’t lie. And I think it’s useful, given that there seems to be an alternative reality out there from some of the political folks that America is down in the dumps. It’s not. America is pretty darn great right now, and making strides right now. And small businesses and large businesses alike are hiring right now, and investing right now, and building this country brick by brick, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, all across the country.
And I don’t expect that these facts and this evidence will convince some of the politicians out there to change their doomsday rhetoric, talking about how terrible America is. But the American people should be proud of what they have achieved, because this speaks to their resilience, innovation, creativity, risk-taking, and grit.
The fact of the matter is, is that the plans that we have put in place to grow the economy have worked. They would work even faster if we did not have the kind of obstruction that we’ve seen in this town to prevent additional policies that would make a difference. And there is going to be a debate going on around the budget in the coming months. Republicans in Congress are, sadly, trying to cut some of the investments that could spur additional growth. They are blocking things like an increase in the minimum wage, or more robust investment in jobs training, infrastructure, education that can continue to lift up wages and incomes — an area, by the way, where we are not seeing the same kinds of pace that we want to see, and where, if we’re working together, we could be making a difference.
That’s what we should be debating. That’s the debate that is worthy of the American people. Not fantasy. Not name-calling. Not trying to talk down the American economy, but looking at the facts, understanding that we’ve made extraordinary progress in job growth; how can we continue to advance that, how can we make sure that people are successful in climbing the ladder of wage and income growth over the coming years; how do we make sure that we make this economy grow even faster.
The notion that we would reverse the very policies that helped dig us out of a recession, reinstitute those that got us into a hole — plans that are being currently proposed by Republicans in Congress and by some of the candidates for President — that’s not the conversation we should be having. That’s not the direction America should take. And I’m looking forward to very forcefully making clear that what we have done has made a difference, and that there’s a huge gap between the rhetoric that’s going on out there and the reality of success that we’re seeing in America’s economy, even as we acknowledge that there’s more work that can be done to make sure that everybody is benefitting from that success.
Republicans are selling a fantasy that life was great under George w. Bush and the economy went to heck under President Obama. Republicans in Congress and those who are running for the White House sell this fairy tale of a presidency went bad while they have actively blocked any efforts to spur more economic growth.
The President never mentioned Donald Trump or any of the other high-profile members of the GOP doomsday cult by name, because he didn’t have to. Trump is running his entire presidential campaign on the false premise that America is no longer great. When Obama mentioned fantasy, name calling, and talking down the economy, he was specifically referring to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio.
What Republicans refuse to admit is that the real reason why they believe that America is not great anymore is because a Democrat is in the White House. President Obama has set job growth records during his time in office. The reality of what Obama has accomplished during his time in office doesn’t match the fantasy that Republicans are trying to sell to voters.
Donald Trump is campaigning on making America great, but the reality is that Obama has already made America great again by cleaning the mess that was caused by eight years of failed Republican economic policies.
Obama’s reality bomb should remind every voter that the fastest way to make sure that America returns to hard economic times is to elect one of the doomsday cultists of failed conservative economic ideology to the White House.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association